DALLA, Jan. 16. AFTER nearly a two month layoff from dual meet competition, the No. 6 University of Florida men's swimming and diving team got off to a great start in 2003 with a 132-106 win over Southern Methodist Thursday night at the Perkins Natatorium. The Gators improved to 7-1 overall and ran their win streak to four straight.
"This was a good way for us to get started again in dual-meet competition," Gator Head Coach Gregg Troy said. "It's been a while since we swam against competition. The guys were ready to swim against someone else and they looked good tonight."
Florida was led by two double-winners in freshman Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Gabriel Mangabeira (Piratininga, Brazil).
Lochte, fresh off winning the Male High Point Award at the U.S. Open in Minneapolis in December, won the 200-yard freestyle and the 200-yard butterfly. Lochte's first-place time of 1:37.65 in the 200 free was good enough to earn him an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark. It marked the fourth time this season that the freshman recorded an NCAA provisional mark and the first one in the 200 free. Lochte turned around and won the 200 fly with a time of 1:50.91.
For the third time in the last four dual meets, Mangabeira was crowned a double-winner. Mangabeira's victories came in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:51.41, and in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:52.28.
Freshman Brian Hartley (Indianapolis, Ind.) picked up a victory for UF in the 500-yard freestyle in a time of 4:43.20. Sophomore Scott Kaufmann (Sparks, Nev.) won the 1,000-yard freestyle with a top time of 9:17.24.
On the diving side, sophomore Zach Wilcox (Yarrow Point, Wash.) was victorious in the one-meter springboard with a score of 352.57. Wilcox also finished second in the three-meter with a total score of 358.65. Both scores were good enough to meet scoring standards for the 2003 NCAA Diving Zones next month in Auburn, Ala. Wilcox has met the standards for both events in all eight dual meets this season.